Make $600 A Day - Every Day - As A Videographer

We've seen a lot of new hi-tech developments come into our lives during the past several years: The home computer, word processor, electronic typewriter...and how in the world did we ever get along without the ever popular VCR? One of the major products on the scene, of course, is the video camera, also known as the camcorder.

The camcorder is to video what the tape recorder was to audio when it was popularized back in the early 50's. The major difference between the two, aside from the obvious functions, is the price. The audio tape recorder, first introduced at a price of just a couple of hundred dollars (now as low as $19.95 for some smaller cassette recorders) can't compare to the high price of the camcorder which goes for $1,400 to $4,000.

At these prices, the camcorder is certainly not a toy or novelty that the average person wants to own. It's an expensive, complex instrument that only comparatively few people want to buy because, let's face it, it's use is some what limited to occasional happenings or special events. It's not something a person would use every day.

This combination, however, is what makes the camcorder a fabulous potential money making marvel: Limited use and high cost!

Yes, you can start a business with a camcorder and enjoy a hefty income of hundreds of dollars daily...many thousands of dollars annually. And... you can operate right from your own home, at least using your home as a base of operations, the actual business being conducted "in the field."

How can you become a Videographer, and in what areas?

Here are a few ideas that are making big money for other Videographers:

* Weddings * Tournaments * Birthday parties * Conference speakers * Anniversary parties * Local bands & musicians * Bar mitzvah * Special dances * Graduations * Sporting events * Ceremonies * Newborn babies * Christmas parties * New Years parties

These are just some of the opportunities in Videographing. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination, the area in which you live, the events and happenings going on around you.

Why is this such a lucrative business? For one thing, because it gives your potential customer a permanent video record of something that's happening in their lives...which they can see over and over again on their own TV by playing the tape through their VCR. What couple wouldn't love to have a recording of their wedding to show their children in 10 to 15 years? What aspiring singer or rock band wouldn't want a video tape of their performance for their families and friends...and as a VIDEO RESUME to help them get additional engagements?

Consider things that will never happen again: A graduation- sports tournament- newborn baby- an important speech -a bar mitzvah. These are one-shots that can never be repeated...but they can be captured on video tape to be re-lived again and again!

CAPITAL INVESTMENT

Yes, there is an investment involved in getting started, but it's a cost that can repay itself many times over. The primary investment will be for the camcorder. There are relatively cheap models on the market priced from around $800 but these are not recommended. Since this is not for pleasure, but for business, you should consider getting one of the best that money can buy, and that means an investment of at least $2,000.

Some models are priced higher, depending on the features you want. You will also need accessories such as a light kit, tripod, and extra batteries.

LEARN BEFORE YOU EARN

Maybe you know all about camcorders. Maybe you already own one, or at least have had the opportunity of using one. But we'll assume neither of these is true. We'll assume you don't know the first thing about them, what they can and cannot do, or how to turn the darn thing on. If so, visit your local public library and ask for books on the subject. Spend a few nights reading up on the subject. Next, check your local colleges and high schools. They usually offer night classes on videotaping that are quite reasonable in cost and you can learn everything necessary in just a few classes.

Only the basics are necessary to learn. Most of your education will come from practical use of the video marvel on the job or in your own practice sessions. Video taping is not unreasonably complicated, so the learning process need not concern you at all.

Remember how complicated driving a car seemed to be before you learned how? Today it's like second nature to you. The same will be true of using the camcorder.

TEST BEFORE YOU INVEST

This will probably be music to your ears: You don't have to invest thousands of dollars in your new equipment UNTIL you are sure you will be able to make the business work for you. For your first few jobs you can RENT the equipment from a video store. The rental fee is about $50 for a 24 hour period, a little more or less, depending on your area. With a rental camera, you can go out on your first job (or first couple of jobs) and test the waters, see if you like doing it. See if you can do a good job that will satisfy your clients.

The best way to begin, in fact, is to do a job for a friend or relative. You can either give them a nice discount or even do the entire job for free, just to get the experience. It should be worth the rental fee and your time to get some needed experience in the field where the action is.

You can learn from any mistakes you make and not feel too guilty or obligated, especially if they are paying less or nothing at all. You will find that your best advertising will come from word-of-mouth; one person recommending you to a friend...and that friend giving your name to another, and so on. You don't even have to pay for this kind of advertising, and it can really multiply your assignments. When word gets around that you have good video equipment, really know your stuff, do a great job and your prices are reasonable...your phone will probably start ringing off the wall

PERFECT HOME BASED BUSINESS

With this type of business you don't need a fancy show room, store or outside office. You can set up an office right in your own home. Naturally you will need a telephone and an answering machine would be a good addition. You don't want to miss incoming calls.

You might want to invest a few extra dollars in business cards, letterheads and envelopes, also statements for billing clients. All printed matter should cost no more than $100.

PRICING YOUR SERVICE

One of the main obstacles in beginning a new business, especially a service such as Videographing, is how to charge clients. Priced too high and you'll get no business; priced too low and you'll make no money. Here's the best way to arrive at a fair and profitable price:

1. Check around to see if anyone else is offering a video taping service in your area. If so, find out their prices and keep this (or these) figures in mind when tabulating your own.

2. Determine how much time will be needed to do each job. Figure that your time should be worth $50 to $75 an hour. Don't let those figures throw you; remember you are not a salaried employees, but an independent business person with no paid vacations, no health insurance or other extras. You get paid for your work and for the time it takes to do the job, excluding travel expenses.

3. Now figure in the travel time and transportation necessary to arrive at the job. Add at least 25 cents a mile within a 25 mile radius. 50 cents a mile for distant jobs.

4. Figure the cost of renting or purchasing equipment on a percentage basis.

5. Add the cost of any help or assistance required for each job.

6. Now include the cost of any tape editing that may be requested, also copies of each tape that maybe requested for family and friends of your client. Determine editing on a time basis; copies on a time plus cost of each tape.

Since this is your business, you want to be flexible and provide a few of these extras free or at greatly reduced prices. For instances, if you're well treated and you really like the people you're working for, you might want to give them an extra copy of a finished tape free. This is a good will gesture that can only work in your favor in the long run. Of course, occasionally you might run across someone who is impossible to please, finding fault with everything you try to do for them. In this case, all prices will apply.

PRODUCING INCOME

Once you get rolling in this business, you can set up appointments on a daily schedule. If you arrange 3 jobs per day, each averaging $75 per hour (plus extras as indicated) and each job averages two hours...this should give you $600 per day. That's a $3,000 income from an average five day work week. If you want to take additional jobs Saturdays and Sundays, you might want to adjust your prices upward for this weekend work. On the other hand, if you seem to have slow days during the week (Mondays for instance) you can offer a discount to fill the gap and get additional business for this off-day.

ADDITIONAL INCOME IDEAS

This could be just the tip of the Videographing iceberg, because there are many other ways to cash in on this type of business. One man developed a "Welcome Channel" idea and sold it to local hotels and motels. On an unused TV channel he showed a video on closed circuit of various stores, shops and activities and events in and around his area. He went to local merchants and offered to make commercials on video tape which would be then shown on his "Welcome Channel. "What are others doing in Videographing?

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking: Produce a series of how-to tapes on hiring professionals in a specific field and tape him/her doing the job. This could be a mechanic showing how to tune a car's engine; a cook or baker; an electrician showing how to wire a home; a plumber; a carpenter, etc., each doing what he or she does best, showing the layman how to do a specific job. This has great possibilities for those who don't like to read books or just don't have the time. Much more can be learned in far less time by seeing it being done by a professional then if it had to be read, analyzed and digested from a book.

Think about it. The opportunities are just beginning in the field of Videographing, and the income potential can be astounding. Remember: Whatever ideas you can come up with for producing on video tape can be offered to video rental stores and other stores on a commission basis. This can mean a nice additional income above and beyond your Videographing business.

Other profitable ideas to consider are: Looking through your newspaper and making a note of the women announcing wedding dates. Open your telephone directory and call these women and ask them if they would care to have the wedding video taped.

You might want to listen in on the police radio frequency, and make a video of any auto accidents, particularly those involving injuries. Your video could become very valuable for you when deciding a court case.

UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITIES

Whatever you decide, there are a few "sure success" points to keep in mind as you begin to sell your services; Offer quality work and reasonable prices, Dress professionally when meeting with potential customers, and always be prompt and reliable.

If you see to it that you met these success points you will be sure to get many referrals. Also, remember, there already are some four million videocassette recorders (VCR's) in American homes, with an estimated 100,000 being sold to new customers every month. Further estimates indicate that by 1994, at least one half of all U.S. households will own either a videocassette recorder.

What this means to you is that your market is growing and is expected to continue to grow and success is yours for the taking all that is required besides the equipment is marketing imagination, organization, and attention to detail.

Think about it. The opportunities are just beginning to open up for you in the field of Videographing, and the income potential can be astounding.

Remember: Whatever ideas you can come up with for producing on video tape can be offered to video rental stores and other stores on a commission basis. This can mean a nice additional income above and beyond your Videographing business.



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